Multilingual mum at Langfest Montreal
As a mum, especially a mum of three it can be easy to lose yourself to forget your own uniqueness your likes and your needs, add in a child with additional needs and that becomes even more difficult. I’m feeling really fortunate that I was able to carve out some time I’m to go to Langfest Montreal. In our marriage, my husband and I try to appreciate each other’s needs including time to oneself. I realised I’m very lucky in this.
During my time away at Langfest I was able to connect to other language learners, both those who had language learning as a hobby and those who use their languages day today in both work and family situations. It was an awesome experience.
Chatting to other multilingual parents like Jonathan Huggins and Tetsu was so encouraging. Parenting is tricky. Add in trying to bring in other languages and it is even more tricky. It was lovely to chat together about out challenges and successes even with our different approaches. It was especially good as we had met before online and chatted so seeing them in the flesh was really special.
My father in law was a huge Fan of Star Trek. His son, my husband is still a huge sci fi fan and over 20 yrs together he has got me into it. Most recently with Star Trek discovery and it’s whole scenes in Klingon.
I love that conlangs have been accepted as necessary. There is rhythm in language that all humans tune into, conscious or not. because a linguist it is so irritating when a language does not make sense at all. Dothraki and Klingon make the race and story believable.
I loved the fact that during the conference being multilingual was normal.
It’s not so normal in the small town I live in. Reactions to me speaking many languages go from awe on their part (yuk) to bring mystified you would need to use more than English! It was great to be with my tribe who get me. At one meal during langfest a group of us used five languages to communicate. It was awesome.
Having lots of languages in your head at once can be tricky, sometimes the right word comes out in the wrong language. I loved Steve Kaufman’s reality that switching languages can be tricky and pulling up a language you are actually good at but don’t use day to day can take time.
I think my favourite part of the conference was the chance to play, I loved imitating the clicks and other unfamiliar sounds in Nguni languages of South Africa with David Kirisipuu. Writing and performance of multilingual poetry with Kerstin and Maria was fun and inspiring as we watched the amazing poems others had written.
I got a bit carried away with the Kahoot quiz uTalk did. Some of those attend the conference are super brainboxes. Unfortunately I did not win this chocolate or any of the UTalk subscriptions.
As a mum actually eating what I like is not so easy. We tend to eat what the kids complain least about so being able to choose what I wanted to eat was such a massive plus. I loved the visit to the Russian restaurant with dumplings and Borscht, Poutine with some other language entreprenurs at Frites Alor, even delicious spicy cheese and chicken Poutine at McDonald’s.
I stayed in the Gîte du Plateau Mont-Royal. It was basic but stylish. It was the best we could and well worth the money. The breakfast was inclusive and yummy. They were super helpful, they even let me leave my luggage there on the last day after I had checked out.
During the time at Langfest. I felt I had rediscovered who I am. Being among linguists and those who love languages helped me find that part of me again that I easily loose in my day to day life. Chatting to other parents and passing on my advice reminded me of the skills I have over the years and how much I have to pass on to others, and how much. This has really increased my self confidence. I have rediscovered me. Thanks LangFest!